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M: Maternity/Paternity Leave

Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.

Selena's Story

Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son. More

Read more in our collection of stories from moms and dads across the country about the need for paid family leave.

Know the Facts

  • Having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in the U.S. -- when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses.
  • In the U.S., 49% of mothers cobble together paid leave following childbirth by using sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and maternity leave.
  • 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave -- so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
  • The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers -- the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
  • Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).

What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

Making Women’s History: From Patsy Mink to Paycheck Fairness

Posted April 8, 2014 by Shay Chan Hodges I was a bit surprised by the lack of coverage for Women’s History Month this year, particularly in the state where I live, since so many women who improved the lives of working families were pivotal to Hawaii's history. It is essential that we continue to remember these women. While many people are aware of [...]

Valuing America's working families: A Blog Carnival on Powering the Engine of America's Economic Growth

Posted April 7, 2014 by Ann Pratt Our country's greatness was built on valuing America's working families. At MomsRising and Progressive States Network, we believe that in America, more families should be joining a thriving middle class than falling out of it -- powering the engine of America's economic growth and national prosperity in the process. But our workplace standards are woefully out [...]

Gross Domestic Product - What if you got paid to raise your children?

Posted April 4, 2014 by Julia Rosenblatt The idea to write a play about motherhood came to me when I was writing my last play, Flipside and nursing my second child. Actually, it had been gestating since the day I was nursing my first child and complaining to my HartBeat Co-Artistic Director Greg Tate that the intersecting struggles of child care, career and being broke were making motherhood [...]

Baseball more important than the birth of your child. Seriously?

Posted April 3, 2014 by Kristin What’s more important than the birth of your child? Baseball. Obviously. Just kidding. April Fools' Day is over! But apparently New York sports radio hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason -- who is also a legendary NFL quarterback -- didn’t get the memo when they lambasted Mets' second baseman Daniel Murphy for taking a THREE-DAY paternity leave. They even [...]
Posted Under: paid family leave
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